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Simple Fix To iPod Madness?

timothy posted more than 8 years ago | from the what-you-might-call-counterintuitive dept.

120

doce writes "After chunking my seemingly dead iPod off my balcony while reviewing a rubberized case, the darned thing started working again, though not quite perfectly. After taking it apart, I managed to fix it properly just by reseating the hard drive cable. Could this be the cause of all the click-of-death "sad iPod" failures users are seeing?"

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Maybe (5, Funny)

wan-fu (746576) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440372)

Maybe.

Re:Maybe (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15440387)

great post you stupid faggot

Re:Maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15441597)

People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

Re:Maybe (2, Insightful)

Omega Xi (888812) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440390)

It's possible, but wouldn't it be better to do a little more research before suggesting that this is the case?

Re:Maybe (5, Insightful)

Mr_Tulip (639140) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440393)

Or maybe not.

Re:Maybe (4, Funny)

idonthack (883680) | more than 8 years ago | (#15441818)

Is it free karma day?

Re:Maybe (5, Funny)

splodger75 (961977) | more than 8 years ago | (#15443073)

Maybe

Re:Maybe (1, Redundant)

unitron (5733) | more than 8 years ago | (#15444161)

Or maybe not.

Yes. I know. But I just couldn't resist the temptation.

Re:Maybe (1)

chriswaclawik (859112) | more than 8 years ago | (#15441827)

I don't like this attitude guys. Remember, iPod madness is no excuse for iPod rudeness.

Re:Maybe (1)

Nocterro (648910) | more than 8 years ago | (#15442208)

[nocterro's brain]: Right that's it, I'm out of here.

Re:Maybe (1)

Dash16 (844616) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440406)

Nah.

Since when did Apple hardware start to suck? (1)

Rayonic (462789) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440881)

Seriously, all I seem to hear these days are stories of iPod problems, Macbooks overheating, and other such nonsense. And its always about simple things like misapplied thermal paste or loose connections or bad batteries.

Seriously, they're great designers, but they've got to get quality control under control.

Re:Since when did Apple hardware start to suck? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15441101)

While Apple QC has been better in he past, and hopefully will be better again in the future, it still isn't even close to the PC industry average. Their failure rate was the best for desktops, and 3rd from the best for laptops, according to the latest relevant Consumer Reports iirc.

Apple users just perceive their products as premium items, and thus complain louder when they break. And Apple's general newsworthiness magnifies those complaints until random snafus like some people getting stuck in Apple's newest elevator for 45 minutes make it onto Slashdot as articles, and random greedy lawyers start class action suits against Apple without bothering to sign up any actual clients on whose behalf to file those suits.

Re:Since when did Apple hardware start to suck? (2, Insightful)

hawkbug (94280) | more than 8 years ago | (#15442234)

"Apple users just perceive their products as premium items, and thus complain louder when they break. "

No, they don't just perceive them that way - Apple sells them that way, and charges accordingly. After I pay $300 for an iPod, I rightfully expect it to last more than a year.

Re:Maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15442010)

Insightful? INSIGHTFUL!?!?

Fuck this, can we have a switch to ignore the first 10 people to post on any article? Its always the same people, and they get modded insightful for saying things like 'maybe'.

Seriously, come on!

Re:Maybe (1)

Neoncow (802085) | more than 8 years ago | (#15442030)

Fuck this, can we have a switch to ignore the first 10 people to post on any article? Its always the same people, and they get modded insightful for saying things like 'maybe'.

http://slashdot.org/metamod.pl [slashdot.org]

Create an account and make your opinion known AC.

Re:Maybe (1)

peterburk (978413) | more than 8 years ago | (#15442226)

Sort of maybe - it is possible. I regularly take iPods apart with a Swiss Army Knife during school (both mine and my friends') when they stop working. All that needs to be done is to unplug and replug the battery cable, and all is well (the disk doesn't even need to be touched, but I often replug it for kicks). I've fixed iPods of 1st, 3rd, 4th and Photo generations by doing this, so I can promise you it works. But if you have a 4G with a broken disk, or a Photo with a broken disk, I want to buy! Peter

Yes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15440378)

Yes.

Ummmm... (5, Funny)

Solra Bizna (716281) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440385)

Hey, you've got something here! Maybe ALL broken Macintoshes can be fixed this way too!!

-:sigma.SB

Re:Ummmm... (1)

pxuongl (758399) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440429)

oh... reminds me of hte good 'ol days when fixing the tv was more an art than science.... he who could slap the side of the tv best was god

Re:Ummmm... (3, Informative)

thc69 (98798) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440528)

I've always been good at slapping CRT computer monitors back into functionality, but not TVs. Besides requiring the right amount of inertia in your swing, you must hit it in the center of the forward portion, the most flexible plastic near the glass; sometimes on the side, sometimes on the top. Importantly, your hand must be relaxed, and your palm should land a picosecond before your fingers...

Yeh ain't lyin' (1)

Dasher42 (514179) | more than 8 years ago | (#15443272)

That's exactly how I kept my old Amiga's 1084s monitor, complete with its whiny flyback, going for years and years - right down to the relaxed palm and loose fingers that whack it slightly after.

Re:Ummmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15440535)

offtopic, I know, but I used to repair my TV set like this: try removing the cover and blow all the dust away from the components and PCBs. Like the IPod thing, this will only work in ~1% of all cases, but maybe you're as lucky as I once was.

Re:Ummmm... (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440624)

Or on the zx spectrums , you needed to have CPR training to get Games to run on occasion. I have no idea how many times I have had to pound down on the tape deck over the years.
I actually considered buying a defibrillator

Re:Ummmm... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15440596)

Maybe not the Macintoshes, but the Apple III, at least:

The system would overheat so severely that the motherboard would warp in its tight confines, and thermal expansion would actually push the DIP chips out of their sockets. One popular anecdote about the Apple III is probably better remembered than the machine itself: in a technical bulletin, customers were actually instructed to lift the machine three inches (76 mm) and drop it in order to reseat the chips.
Source [wikipedia.org]

The one drawback to being sleek (0, Troll)

moe.ron (953702) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440395)

Apple tries so hard to make their hardware look nice and seemless that when it comes to simple little fixes like checking to make sure you're hard drive is plugged in, most people end sending it away for 4 weeks for 5 minutes of labor.

Re:The one drawback to being sleek (2, Informative)

wickedsteve (729684) | more than 8 years ago | (#15441035)

4 weeks? I took my iPod in and they replaced it on the spot. And it only takes Apple a few days turnaround any time I need a Mac serviced.

Re:The one drawback to being sleek (1)

TangoCharlie (113383) | more than 8 years ago | (#15442856)

Think yourself lucky! Here in the UK, we've had 9 years of Labour :-)

good to see... (4, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440399)

Well, good to see that he tried throwing it off a balcony before he tried taking it apart to see what the problem was...

Re:good to see... (4, Insightful)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440419)

it is a general rule that if something doesn't work right away you should hit it as hard as you can, the whole balcony thing is just the logical conclusion of that same idea.

Re:good to see... (1)

Kenshin (43036) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440630)

If you live in an apartment with a roommate/girlfriend/wife, I suggest you get the dishes done really quick then.

Re:good to see... (1)

creepynut (933825) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440787)

Hmm. How insightful. Tell me more sir.

Re:good to see... (3, Funny)

I Like Pudding (323363) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440935)

Hmm. How insightful. Tell me more sir.

No, the correct phrase is "I am intrigued by your ideas, sir, and would like to subscribe to your newsletter."

Re:good to see... (1)

Tidal Flame (658452) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440502)

It's an Apple product - the components generally aren't user replacable, so throwing it out the window and buying a new one is your best bet if it breaks.

(For the record, I own an iPod myself.)

Re:good to see... (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440816)

Wait. He threw it off the balcony? I thought he fed it frozen chinese food off the balcony.

Re:good to see... (1)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 8 years ago | (#15441077)

Well you wouldn't want to void your warranty.

+1, Funny (2, Funny)

dhasenan (758719) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440405)

And that's the maximum this story deserves.

Sounds like you were lucky. (1)

sharkb8 (723587) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440407)

If all that happened was a disconnected hard drive cable, you were lucky, or the rubberized case worked very, very well.

The click of death probably comes from a moving part, and in full-size and mini-iPods (non-nano or shuffle), the only moving part is the hard drive.

Imagine what would have happened if the hard drive of your iPod was actually spinning at a couple thousand RPM when you chucked it off the balcony.

I have to think that bad drives, cracked screens or bad batteries are the biggest hardware problems ipod users face.

Re:Sounds like you were lucky. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15440459)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't those about 95% of the components in an iPod? That's some build quality...

Re:Sounds like you were lucky. (1)

ISayWeOnlyToBePolite (721679) | more than 8 years ago | (#15442808)

Imagine what would have happened if the hard drive of your iPod was actually spinning at a couple thousand RPM when you chucked it off the balcony.
How about nothing, the hd can take 400G operating according to specs. http://www.hitachigst.com/hdd/support/3k8/3k8.htm/ [hitachigst.com]

Re:Sounds like you were lucky. (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 8 years ago | (#15444405)

Not as much as you think. I don't know what the cushioning of the case is like, but a pen falling from a persons jacket experiences 800g when it touches the hard surface.

Re:Sounds like you were lucky. (1)

Mr. Droopy Drawers (215436) | more than 8 years ago | (#15443694)

Actually no. My 4th gen Ipod had "the click of death". I purchased an extended warranty through Best Buy. It took those goobers 12 weeks to get it back. And that's after escalating the issue to the BBB (it works).

Anyway, it came back with the fix: reseated HDD cable.

So, this guy isn't all wet.

Re:Sounds like you were lucky. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15445012)

Why would you purchase a Best Buy warranty on an iPod!?

$60 gets you three years of AppleCare coverage which includes battery replacements and (at most) 1-day turn-arounds for hardware problems. I wouldn't let those "Geek Squad" morons anywhere near stuff I own.

First Law Of Electrical Engineering (4, Funny)

MountainLogic (92466) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440408)

Is it plugged in?????

Re:First Law Of Electrical Engineering (2, Insightful)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440646)

We had an Idiot checklist in my old office, first on the list was "Is it plugged in".
It is amazing the amount of time wasted because of silly little things like this. I always found it was the more experienced employees who made mistakes like this

Re:First Law Of Electrical Engineering (3, Funny)

mehtajr (718558) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440780)

The first is "is it plugged in?"

The second is "are you sure?"

Re:First Law Of Electrical Engineering (2, Interesting)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440823)

No that was third, second was, have you had your coffee or caffeine pills.

Re:First Law Of Electrical Engineering (1)

powerlord (28156) | more than 8 years ago | (#15443928)

Fourth should be "Is it turned on?"

I can't believe the number of tech calls that have involved a product pugged in, but not turned on. You'd be amazed the number of people who figure a Computer (or monitor/cable box/etc.) just needs to be plugged in, and it will function like magic (without being turned on, powered up, set, etc.)

Second Law Of Electrical Engineering (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 8 years ago | (#15442062)

The wire is bad, replace it.

Once in a blue moon, something other than a wire will fail.

Re:Second Law Of Electrical Engineering (1)

kninja (121603) | more than 8 years ago | (#15443123)

I would restate this as "check your connections" i.e. making sure that the wire is seated properly and conducting, that solder hasn't created any shorts, etc.

Chunking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15440424)

After chunking my seemingly dead iPod....

Do you mean chucking?

Re:Chunking? (1)

thc69 (98798) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440597)

Google! Wikipedia! Dude, really...

He's obiously throwing enough of them off his balcony to make a heap [wikipedia.org] .

Creative Players (3, Interesting)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440490)

Creative HD based players all have a problem where they move the headphone connector off the motherboard.

After 6 months the headphones start stuttering and slowly fail. This is due to this problem and can be solved by soldering the wires.

It happened to at least 7 players that I know of and it's a huge problem.

Ipod problems seem worse, but not much worse.

Isn't planned obsolesence fun!

Re:Creative Players (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 8 years ago | (#15441746)

I was very scared that my Zen Xtra would suffer this fate.

Alas, 2+ years and not a hitch... speaking of which, why do I always read about the crappy side of products after I've clicked the "purchase the pretty gadget now" button?

Re:Creative Players (1)

LKM (227954) | more than 8 years ago | (#15442956)

It happened to at least 7 players that I know of and it's a huge problem.
Ipod problems seem worse, but not much worse.

I sense a problem with the combination of these two sentences. Most of my friends have iPods (one of them has a non-Apple mp3 player, but I can't remember what kind it is). Nobody ever had a problem with any of them, apart from my brother, who broke the screen of his third-gen iPod when he had a bike accident. Which, by the way, Apple actually replaced free of charge.

Even my second-gen iPod still works, although the battery dies after about two hours.

iPods are really well made. There are many reports of problems because there are lots and lots of people who own iPods.

Re:Creative Players (1)

Prog_Burner (663126) | more than 8 years ago | (#15444313)

Just a side note "soldering the wires" is not exactly what needs to be done.
I had this problem with mine and fixed it two days ago. There's actually a fairly good site http://www.hardwarezone.com/articles/view.php?cid= 9&id=1331 [hardwarezone.com] that gives a good tutorial on getting it apart.
There's also pictures of what you need to solder in the forum related to the article. All I needed to do was heat the existing solder for a second, plus put in a little additional re-enforcement of the jack itself.
In the end it cost me $40 altogether, since I bought a new cordless iron and some decent solder that I didn't need. Considering Creative wants a $30 cheque just to look at it after the first 90 days and the receipt, if not gone completly, would be in the hands of my ex (a much higher price than $30 to try and get it, although not monetary) I got off lightly for a fix that took maybe 15 minutes.

The Universal Solution actually worked?? (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440496)

the Universal solution to many problems

Proper Application of Force (ie when in doubt use a hammer)

Re:The Universal Solution actually worked?? (1)

Kamineko (851857) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440949)

That's the Dark Jedi version, surely?

Re:The Universal Solution actually worked?? (1)

Kazymyr (190114) | more than 8 years ago | (#15442241)

And when the first hammer doesn't work, use a bigger hammer.

Maybe it's a supply thing (0)

punxking (721508) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440507)

After taking it apart, I managed to fix it properly just by reseating the hard drive cable. Could this be the cause of all the click-of-death "sad iPod" failures users are seeing?"

Maybe Apple has secretly contracted with Iomega for their increased memory supply needs...

This seems highly likely, at least in some cases. (5, Informative)

tobias.sargeant (741709) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440537)

I've had my (4th gen) iPod reach click-of-death stage twice, and both times I've been able to resurrect it by opening the case, and reseating the drive cable. The second time, it seemed to me that the problem was actually the zif socket at the drive end of the cable, which was displaced on one side by about .5mm. I think the key to knowing whether this is the problem is to put your iPod into test mode, and look at the smart data. If you see lots of retracts, but no reallocs, then (my hypothesis is that) the hard drive isn't dying, it's just being reset a lot (which involves retracting the heads, and hence the audible click), due to transfer errors as a result of the flaky cable connection.

The poor man's fix.. (1)

davecrusoe (861547) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440893)

Actually, I had the same challenge with mine. However, I took the crude approach: bang it down very hard on the dashboard, as per instructions I found in the Apple iPod discussion forums (!). It worked, and the poor 'pod has done lots of playing since! Call it the poor man's fix to the clicking of the iPod.

Hot Glue (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15441095)

Add a small dab of hot glue to the connector next time to keep it from popping open. It won't (shouldn't) damage the plastic, and if you ever have a need to open the connector, the glue can be peeled off with a small amount of force. I used to repair point of sale debit machines, which are constantly being dropped, thrown, punched, etc. Often it's a case of cables popping out or battery leads snapping from an acute case of inertia.

Thermal Paste (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15440569)

I believe you will find that the idiots at Apple have no idea how to apply thermal paste, and have applied WAY TOO MUCH to the processor heat sink. You of course, are much smarter than those idiots at Apple and should remove the heatsink and apply a THIN LAYER of heatsink compound instead.

Cables come unplugged (2, Interesting)

Mistshadow2k4 (748958) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440601)

I don't have an iPod (just don't really need an mp3 player) but I have an external hard drive that seemed to die on me after my cat knocked it off my desk. It turned out that the cable in the enclosure had simply come unplugged. I now tell folks when they say a drive died to check the cables. So far, that's been the problem 1 out of 4 times with my customers.

Re:Cables come unplugged (1)

djdavetrouble (442175) | more than 8 years ago | (#15441046)

after my cat knocked it off my desk.

Oh Garfield, you are at it again....

Similar iBook Problem (4, Interesting)

SinGunner (911891) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440615)

My iBook was dying last year (it was only 14 months old), but I hit it once (out of frustration, I'm weak) and the damn thing started working great. About a month later, the same thing started happening, so this time I decided to take it apart to figure out what was wrong (never try this. it's easier to open the damn box from Hellraiser). I found that all the connectors in the entire iBook are inserted parallel to their respective cards/boards. I thought this was genius, as it would keep cords from wiggling loose from picking it up and putting it down as is the constant state of a laptop. I then got to the only cable in the whole damn thing that is placed perpendicular to the motherboard: the hard drive cable. It's basically designed to come out. The cable comes up from underneath and connects to the motherboard. Obviously the engineers saw the intelligence in connecting all the other cables the way they were, so why not this one? Hell, the hard drive cable is secured with plain ol' tape. That's how bad it is. I really couldn't believe it. I figured out the reason for this design flaw when I took it to the Mac store. I explained exactly what was wrong and that I simply wanted them to take the time to take it apart and resecure the cable this time (because I just don't have the time or patience to do it again) and they quoted me 450 dollars to fix it. I tried to explain that nothing was wrong with the damn thing, but their amazing technical genius (they didn't even look at the damn thing other than to plug in a USB cord and say it seemed like they could see the drive, which is plausible) quoted their base price to fix a "broken" iBook.

Suffice to say, I'm planning on building a Linux box for my next computer. I guess it was a lesson learned. Mr. Jobs had me at "hello", but he lost me at "450 [goddamn] dollars".

Re:Similar iBook Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15440959)

That's odd - most Apple Stores are pretty helpful in these matters. Of course you said "Mac" store - of which none exist so I can only think TROLL when reading this, or that there's some independent taking you for a ride - which would make the Jobs' reference another TROLL.

Re:Similar iBook Problem (1, Insightful)

MoneyT (548795) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440981)

I explained exactly what was wrong and that I simply wanted them to take the time to take it apart and resecure the cable this time (because I just don't have the time or patience to do it again) and they quoted me 450 dollars to fix it.

Um, you didn't have the time or patience to do it, why would the tech have the time or patience for anything less that $450?

And if you weren't happy with that price, why didn't you take it to another computer shop since you knew what was wrong and what to do?

If you don't have the time or patience to do something, you should expect to pay someone to do it for you.

Re:Similar iBook Problem (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 8 years ago | (#15442263)

"If you don't have the time or patience to do something, you should expect to pay someone to do it for you."

Because it was shittily assembled in the first place? Did you read his entire post?

Re:Similar iBook Problem (1)

MoneyT (548795) | more than 8 years ago | (#15444603)

No it was assembled the same way every other one is assembled, and of all the problems the iBooks had, HDDs were not a big one. In fact, if he did indeed fix it the first time that he opened it, the fact that it failed again would then be his own fault for not properly securing the cable. The fact that the apple store tech was willing to even work on his computer after he revealed that he had already disassebled his computer is in and of itself suprising. The fact that the tech wanted to charge him for this service is not.

As I said, if you're too lazy to do something yourself, you should expect to pay someone else to do it.

Re:Similar iBook Problem (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 8 years ago | (#15445023)

"No it was assembled the same way every other one is assembled, and of all the problems the iBooks had, HDDs were not a big one."

Doesn't matter if the problem was a big one or not. He was having the problem. They should have fixed it.

Re:Similar iBook Problem (3, Informative)

mattkime (8466) | more than 8 years ago | (#15441329)

Perhaps your machine had trouble with the hard drive cable but its hardly a common problem with ibooks. After all, you had this machine well over 15 months without this problem becoming known in the mac community. Further, both the drive and the motherboard are mounted directly against the frame. Where is there room for movement? i'm not saying that you didn't have it, but its not common.

You can't blame the tech for not simply accepting your diagnosis. Also, you can't blame him that he's quoting the highest number he can come up with - better than surprising you with it later.

finally, its quite well known that applecare is a good idea on those machines. if you machine was a lemon and it took more than two replacements to fix it, you'd be staring at a macbook right now.

Re:Similar iBook Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15443397)

> quoted their base price to fix a "broken" iBook.

At least you got a quote! They won't even quote a repair on my 17" PowerBook. It needs a new keyboard, and even the Apple Store can't obtain the backlit one as a part. Apple also won't sell it to the public. I'm still trying to find an Apple repair shop that will purchase one from Apple for me. Most of them have been put out of business by the local Apple Store so I haven't even found one yet that will order parts. Even if I do, the manager at the Apple Store I talked to in Charlotte, NC said the backlit one had been out of stock for months. I've had the thing 17 months, so I'm very frustrated. I've giving it one more month before I call American Express to see if they'll refund me the money I wasted on AppleDontCare. That might get their attention and finally get me a new keyboard.

No (2, Insightful)

Van Halen (31671) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440736)

I've been through two different 3rd generation iPods with dying/dead hard drives. The second, a 40 GB, was acquired, used, to replace the drive in the first (a 30 GB). That means I popped them both opened and did a drive swap, being extra careful to make sure all connections were properly seated.

The first drive was still dead in its "new" enclosure. The second drive still worked -- but only for a few weeks. After that, it exhibited the same symptoms of clicking and slowly dying over time. No amount of reseating helped.

The hypothesis given in the article may very well apply in many cases, but it is not the cause of all the click-of-death "sad iPod" failures users are seeing.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15440952)

The 6.5G iPodfuge will be able to partially recover non-stiction related failures.

Simple Fix To iPod Madness? (1)

Trogre (513942) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440747)

Here's a few [xiph.org]

Re: Simple Fix To iPod Madness? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15440882)

Yeah, because Ogg Vorbis players *never* have technical problems. :P

5th times a charm! (1)

grrr223 (668009) | more than 8 years ago | (#15440833)

I have been through 4 ipods in the last week, and the 5th is on the way. iPod #1 I had a 4th generation iPod for about 9 months when I started getting errors saying "unable to read/write to iPod" and after I did a soft reset it wouldn't go beyond the Apple symbol. So I brought it to the Apple store, it was under it's 1 year warranty, but after the 6 month mark, so for $30 shipping and handling, I got a new iPod. iPod #2 In 3 days, I picked up the iPod from the Apple store, brought it home and the SAME @#$#@ problem. "Unable to read/write to iPod" and after a soft reset it wouldn't go beyond the Apple symbol. A second Apple store had just opened up, so I brought it there (and also picked up a MacBook), and same great service: walked in, under warranty, hand me a new iPod. iPod #3 This one got farther than iPod #2, I didn't get any errors while syncing it, but songs were missing in playlists when I started playing songs. I did manage to listen to it for a day. However, after I plugged it into the wall outlet, same problem, it wouldn't go beyond the Apple symbol. So I brought it back to the 1st Apple store. iPod #4 Same problem as iPod #3, no errors while syncing, but missing songs, and then after the battery drained once, it wouldn't move beyond the Apple symbol. This time I called Apple. iPod #5 I don't have this one yet, but they sent me a postage paid DHL mailer to ship iPod #4 back to them. They're trying to track down all 4 of the dead iPods so they can figure out what's wrong with them. I have NO idea. Some used firewire, some used USB 2.0, some were plugged into my Powerbook, some were plugged into a wall charger. I also have a nano and a 30 GB 5th generation iPod without any problems. The only thing I can think of is that it's a bad batch of iPods. The nice lady on the phone said if they can't figure it out then I should call her and she'll see what she can do for me, which I hope means just giving me a 5th generation iPod. I'm really suprised they care so much. Why do they care if they fix a problem with a 4th generation iPod that doesn't appear to be a problem with the latest ones? I mean this time isn't free for Apple or for me. They have technically done a very good job honoring their warranty, but then again for $400, they better be. However, I wish they would find better solutions than giving me broken iPods after I returned iPod #3.

Re:5th times a charm! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15440940)

Next time Erase and Zero the iPod's hard drive.

Then update the latest iPod updater and reformat.

Works wonders.

Re:5th times a charm! (1)

grrr223 (668009) | more than 8 years ago | (#15441169)

After the Apple icon came up, it wouldn't mount on my Powerbook. It's a frustrating little device to troubleshoot since there are only so many things that can happen to it. I'm very curious as to what Apple says the problem is because my laptop shouldn't be able to cause hardware failure in 4 iPods. What software can I use to erase and zero the iPod's hard drive?

Re:5th times a charm! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15441131)

keep it away from your cell phone while the phone is recharging.

You just need a little faith (1)

astrosmash (3561) | more than 8 years ago | (#15441013)

You computer scientists and your crazy loose-cable theories. I just like to believe that the Fonz works in mysterious ways.

Worked for me (1)

NRP128 (710672) | more than 8 years ago | (#15441041)

Mine's been dead for 6 months, pried it open (was scared to up until this point, decided 'screw it, why not', and its working like a charm now.

Re:Worked for me (1)

sean3k (84753) | more than 8 years ago | (#15441751)

me too, i finally no longer have a $400 paper weight. And it was so simple to fix.

Thank you submitter, you made my day!

Simple Fix (-1, Troll)

epp_b (944299) | more than 8 years ago | (#15441092)

Don't buy one in the first place. Buy a proper one that uses (*gasp*) screws to hold the casing together.

(Please, pleeease don't mod me flaimbait or troll)

Re:Simple Fix (1)

epp_b (944299) | more than 8 years ago | (#15441498)

"Simple Fix (Score:-1, Troll)"

Heeeeeyyyy... :(

Pick it up about three inches off a table... (5, Funny)

Howard Beale (92386) | more than 8 years ago | (#15441135)

and drop it.

Oh, I'm sorry. I thought you were talking about an Apple III....

Re:Pick it up about three inches off a table... (1)

MacBoy (30701) | more than 8 years ago | (#15444837)

That isn't the only odd overly physical remedy recommended by Apple. I had a "Applevision" 17" display ($1049 in 1995!) which would sometimes begin to whine. Apparently this was caused by a poor connection between the CRT Yoke and the cable connecting it to the circuit boards. The remedy recommended by Apple was to firmly smack the monitor with the heel of your hand in the middle of the plastic besel at the top of the monitor. The force of this was apparently supposed to jolt the connector enough to improve the contact. Since this was a Trinitron (with it's vertical mask wires) when you smacked it, it faintly "sang" a note caused by these thousands of tensioned wires vibrating.

iPod Madness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15441232)

Just a few hours ago, my 60 gig photo iPod showed the "saddy" face. Since it has required an almost daily re-boot I thought it finally went TU. Just happened to stumble on this topic. After reading the lead and comments, I tried a last ditch maneuver. This after multiple attempts to boot in the approved manner. Cuing on the balcony toss, sharp blows etc. I gave the machine a sharp downward thrust to a teak table. Think setting a hammer head on a new handle. Reboot normal. 5000+ plus songs, 2600 pics and over 10 gig of data BACK TO LIFE!

Thank you all

Common Fix (3, Interesting)

PAPPP (546666) | more than 8 years ago | (#15441268)

The "Throwing it off the balcony" part is just an extreme version of a common fix for stuck harddrives. Giving a dead drive, especially one that is "ticking", a good firm smack will often get it working again. Works best on small (2.5" or smaller) drives. I've resurrected quite a few drives with the same trick, including the one in my Rio Karma, as someone suggests here at riovolution [forums-riovolution.com] . The way it works is sometimes the heads and/or platters will get stuck, possibly due to suction between the two, and the smack frees them. It often causes minor physical damage (a couple bad blocks), and a drive resurrected this way's days are probably numbered, but its great for fixing drives long enough to get the data off, or in the case of devices with nothing overwhelmingly important on them (like mp3 players) simply getting a few more weeks/months/years of use out of them.

just hit it with a hammer. (2, Funny)

twitter (104583) | more than 8 years ago | (#15442073)

no, it won't fix anything but your feelings.

click ..... the dAMN THING BROKE AGAIN! ARRRRG!

slap -=SMACK=- tinkle

ahhh, that feels better.

Re:Common Fix - Shaken by Baby (1)

borkus (179118) | more than 8 years ago | (#15444351)

A friend of mine's IPod died after it fell out of his cart into a rain filled gutter. He let his one-year-old daughter play with it. She would shake it around and drop it on the carpet repeatedly. After she was done playing with it, he picked it up and hit the play button. It worked!

My guess is that his daughter managed to shake it just enough to fix whatever was loose without knocking something else out of place. Of course, he doesn't let her play with the iPod anymore.

My G2 iPod works great (1)

TellarHK (159748) | more than 8 years ago | (#15441434)

I've never had any actual problems with my old G2 10G iPod except for the expected and understandable issue of battery wear. But a couple weeks ago, I dropped $7.50 for an 1800mAh replacement for the built-in 800mAh battery, and haven't had a problem since. I like having second generation gear when I can get it, because the bugs have been worked out of the first generation toys and the big enhancements are usually kept for the third generation of a consumer electronic device. New iPods seem too small to me, and I really like the solid feel my old iPod has to it.

My only bitch with Apple about this whole thing is that they didn't backport some of the functions new iPods have, like on-the-fly playlists. That's -all- I friggin' want. And no, I am not going to run iPodlinux. I actually don't mind buying from iTMS because it gives me what I want at a reasonable price. Until the RIAA screws that up, at least.

It has been my experience that (1)

WayneTheGoblin (843267) | more than 8 years ago | (#15441907)

in general, the vast majority of sad iPods are caused by falls damaging the spinning disk. I used to deal with dead iPods daily, and I saw this kind of thing all the time. It actually is quite difficult to kill an iPod, as it requires a confluence of circumstances, including it being on, having the disk spinning, and then dropping it at just the right angle. Obviously, as the force of impact increases (be it from a fall, etc...), the number of requirements to render it dead, goes down . But, in general, this is my experience... however, I have also seen a number of more creative ways of iPod death. But that's another post. :)

Stiction (2, Informative)

EdZ (755139) | more than 8 years ago | (#15443120)

My old Zen Xtra once died due to 'stiction'. This is when the read head gets too close to the platter and sticks to it preventing the HDD from working. The eventual solution was to give it a good hearty whack as it was attempting to spin up, freeing the head and bringing the player back to life.

Percussive Maintenance (1)

thewiz (24994) | more than 8 years ago | (#15443223)

"After chunking my seemingly dead iPod off my balcony while reviewing a rubberized case, the darned thing started working again, though not quite perfectly."

Once again the proud tradition of percussive maintenance fixes another "broken" electronic device!

And in other news (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | more than 8 years ago | (#15443890)

My computer died so I threw it out, but then I found out that power was lost to my neighbourhood.

Look, Apple has a warranty plan, and an extended Apple care plan. Call up Apple, tell them about your iPod problems, and they will fix it. Apple's service is top notch, and I know of a few people that returned an iPod and received an upgraded refurbished model. This is true if you have an older generation model that Apple doesn't sell or have refurb stock.

I know that people love to go after the top guy and start stirring up crap about them, but when it comes to Apple's and iPod's, iPods maintain a level of quality that few other consumer electronics products can offer.

Apple will have the same manufacturing nightmares that any other company can have. Steve Job's doesn't caress every iPod as it leaves the factory (although I am sure he would want to). So, your going to get batches with a bad hard drive connection or some other problem, its simply the nature of the game.

But, to pitch it out the window or to write up slanderous articles about iPod and how Apple singled you out and screwed up your life because your iPod failed, well, that is just childish.

Apple has excellent customer service and technical support. Use it. Write an artcle about how good their service was and how quickly you got back a fixed iPod, don't write a story about you throwing a tantrum.

The only lesson every learned from Happy Days (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 8 years ago | (#15444714)

It's good to see that Henry Winkler aka Tha Fonz from Happy Days, has left a legacy grander than a thumbs up "ayhhhhh!" and "Jumping the Shark".

For those too young to remember Happy Days, The Fonz was the only one who could get the Juke Box (a music player) to work at the local hangout... and he did so by hitting it.... all sorts of ways, though I don't recall if he ever threw it off a balcony ;-p

Typo (1)

beetle496 (677137) | more than 8 years ago | (#15444861)

How about chucking (with a c) rather than dividing the iPod into chunks?
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